NATIONAL

Sign language dictionary to release in India soon

The government is all set to come up with the country’s first-of-its-kind dictionary that aims to bring together various sign languages used by people with speech and hearing impairments.

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary, which is being developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), has so far compiled 6,032 Hindi and English words and corresponding graphic representations of signs. The dictionary is being developed in both print and video formats.

Comprehensive base

“A comprehensive Indian Sign Language Dictionary is the need of the hour to facilitate communication between the hearing and speech impaired and create a database for further policy making,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on Monday.

“Presently, the sign languages in a diverse country like India vary from region to region. Because of this, people from a region face difficulty in communicating with those in another region,” he said at the inauguration of a two-day national conference on empowering people with hearing difficulties.

Awanish K Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, said that 50 lakh hearing-impaired people and 20 lakh speech-impaired people in the country will get a uniform language from the dictionary.

“It will contain graphic representations of popular signs used by the hearing impaired and will also include regional variations. Apart from that, it will have legal, technical and medical terms,” Mr. Awasthi said.

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